The Great Gatsby

He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself.” – Nick Carraway

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, follows the story of Nick Carraway our narrator, and the events that take place over the summer of 1922.  Nick having moved from the Midwest to New York and rents a small house on Long Island next door to the extravagant mansion of Jay Gatsby a theatrical, charismatic man with a mysterious past.  After receiving an invitation by this mysterious millionaire to attend one of his extravagant parties Nick and Gatsby become friends and over the summer discovers that Gatsby’s vast fortune was amassed in order to win the affections of a love he lost five years ago.

The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite novels.  Fitzgerald has an astonishing ability to turn a phrase, and the great Gatsby is full of maxims and idioms that are both humorous and immensely insightful.  The book itself has a way of ensnaring you so that you can’t seem to put it down, I even found myself reading passages again and again for the sheer joy of it.   My emotions were constantly changing, anger, mystery, hope, in such a smooth and eloquent way that you just become part of the novel and associate with the characters themselves.  Fitzgerald’s use of figurative language in this story is what makes it flow and sound like poetry.  Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby is a classic piece of American fiction. A tragedy that in its melancholy finds a light-hearted humour and is incredibly insightful.  Most of all The Great Gatsby is about something we all can relate to, an almost delusional kind of love that in the end, whether rightly or wrongly, robs life of all its purpose and vitality and our inability to move beyond the past.

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